Posts Tagged ‘financial services industry’

Banks stung by criticism over pay despite recent changes

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Wall Street banks thought they had made big concessions to populist anger over large year-end bonuses. On Tuesday, Citigroup said its compensation pool for 2009 had shrunk 20 percent from the prior year. On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley announced its top executives would receive 75 percent of their pay in deferred compensation.

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Goldman Tries to Put a Halo on Bonuses

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Goldman Sachs is doing its best to prove that what’s good for its company is good for the rest of us. But image consultants and corporate-compensation experts say the Wall Street firm’s recent moves won’t quell the growing anger against the world’s most profitable bank.

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Fresh round of Wall Street bonuses rekindles scrutiny

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As resurgent Wall Street banks prepare to hand out billions of dollars in bonuses — their first since returning federal bailout funds — the payments are drawing intense scrutiny from regulators and politicians.
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo sent letters on Monday to the nation’s eight largest banks demanding a detailed account of the bonuses planned for employees.

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Banks Brace for Bonus Fury

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Critics of Wall Street firms are grumbling that this year’s bonuses are far too generous. But some recipients are none too happy, either: They’re complaining too much of the payout is coming in stock instead of cash. Banks and securities firms have told workers their bonuses will contain a bigger percentage of stock to demonstrate that Wall Street is sensitive to public anger over the big paychecks.

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Banks Prepare for Bigger Bonuses, and Public’s Wrath

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Published in The New York Times January 10, 2010 by Louise Story and Eric Dash

Everyone on Wall Street is fixated on The Number.
The bank bonus season, that annual rite of big money and bigger egos, begins in earnest this week, and it looks as if it will be one of the largest and most controversial blowouts the industry has ever seen.

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Morgan Stanley to Overhaul Pay Plan

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Published in The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2009 by Aaron Lucchetti 

Morgan Stanley is poised to overhaul the way it pays its most senior executives, deferring more of their compensation over time and benchmarking their pay against rival firms, according to people familiar with the matter.
But the investment bank may stop short of the approach taken by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said its top executives would receive only stock for 2009 bonuses. Senior Morgan Stanley executives may receive about one quarter of their 2009 pay in cash, with the rest coming as deferred stock, one of the people familiar with the matter said. In recent years many received more of their pay in cash.
Wall Street pay has become a fraught issue for firms such as Morgan Stanley, whose top executives have conceded they may have failed without emergency government support in late 2008. With trading and banking profits now improving, Wall Street is trying to calibrate pay to minimize outside criticism and yet still keep employees and executives happy.

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Compensation for ‘thousands” of brokerage employees could receive federal scrutiny

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Published in Investment News October 23, 2009by Sara Hansard

Large brokerage firms that are part of bank holding companies could be forced to review their compensation arrangements for brokers and advisers as a result of a new pay proposal introduced Thursday by the Federal Reserve Board.

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Bonuses Put Goldman in Public Relations Bind

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Published in The New York Times October 16, 2009 by Graham Bowley


A celebrated Goldman Sachs partner, Gus Levy, coined the maxim that long defined the bank, the savviest and most influential firm on Wall Street: “Greedy, but long-term greedy.”

But these days that old dictum is being truncated to just “greedy” by some Goldman critics. While many ordinary Americans are still waiting for an economic recovery, Goldman and its employees are enjoying one of the richest periods in the bank’s 140-year history.

 

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Analysis: The Fed Shouldn’t Decide Bankers’ Pay

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Published in Money Watch October 6, 2009 by Cait Murphy
Pity the poor bankers. Not only are they Michael Moore’s latest target and fodder for late-night talk show hosts, but now the Federal Reserve is proposing to oversee the details of their multimillion-dollar paychecks. This is a separate effort from the proposals by Kenneth Feinberg, compensation consultant to the Obama administration, to change the pay practices for top executives at companies the government has bailed out like AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, and GM.

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Wall Street Needs More Skin in the Game

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Published in The Wall Street Journal September  30, 2009 by Peter Weinberg

The debate about bonuses and Wall Street pay rages on, and for good reason. Compensation is a complex issue that is essential to managing systemic risk. The asymmetrical structure of pay packages—a “heads I win, tails I win less” approach—was wrong. But overly prescriptive government intervention to solve the problem poses its own challenges and might not help us get the incentives right, either. So what can we do?

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